Vinci Italy: Day 2.
Today was all about Vinci's Chianti (need a Chianti primer?).
Day 2 of our DaVinci Wine Storyteller journey greeted us with breakfast on the terrace, a walking tour with agronomist Andrea Meini (where we learned hoards of information on vineyards, the Montalbano region of Chianti and its micro-climate, and the passion and teamwork that go into the DaVinci Cooperative) and a tour of Leonardo da Vinci's birth home.
After touring Leonardo's home, we walked through the small town of Vinci, soaking up layers of pure 'quaint', ogling the museum and climbing the town's Torre (tower).
The rolling hillsides are smeared with vineyards and olive orchards. We snapped loads of photos (check out my DaVinci Wine flickr photo album) and had the sheer pleasure of meeting Bruno: 1 of the 230 wine growers (Vinci has a cooperative of 230 growers; Bruno is on the Board of the Coop). We visited, interviewed Bruno and ate lunch on his outdoor terrace. A brilliant selection of meats, cheeses and bruschetta, our lunch was perfect with DaVinci's Pinot Grigio and a special for-friends-only bottle of his very own Vin Santo.
We squeezed in a visit to the famous Taccini Pottery, then landed at a lovely dinner just below our Villa, at the Wine Loft. Known for their seafood, we drank Prosecco while inhaling plate upon plate of perfectly prepared mussels, shrimp with cannellini beans and roasted tomatoes, the best gnocchi I have ever tasted, more seafood, squid ink pasta (hand-rolled of course) with crab sauce (brilliant actually) and without an inch to spare we waved off dessert, downed our espressos and walked back up the hill to our not-so-humble abode.
Then we pulled up a few chairs on the terrace.
We laughed, found a bottle of wine and a sip of Grappa and relaxed in the Tuscan air while listening to iphone playlists. Music, new friends, odd jokes and quotes spilling about... sometimes life is just better than good.